POM for September

Happy Autumn, everyone! Here’s your monthly playlist from JulesTeps:

1. Heart Shaped Box – Nirvana
2. Diane Young – Vampire Weekend
3. How to be a Heartbreaker – Marina and the Diamonds
4. Lonely Boy – The Black Keys
5. Tighten Up – The Black Keys
6. Last Nite – The Strokes
7. Like a Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan
8. The Scientist – Coldplay
9. Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of – U2
10. Home wrecker (Acoustic) – Marina and the Diamonds

There you have it, the POM for September!


I Love My Scar

Scars get so much bad press. First, they’re archetyped as a fatal, permanent flaw; one which people will have to spend lifetimes trying to cover up. Heaven forbid one sees a scar, for there is nothing as perilous to a reputation as a flawed body. Even if the blemish stretches for no more than an inch across a face, hours may be wasted trying to smother it in concealer until it disappears from existence.

Second, scars are so often portrayed negatively. Heck, even the antagonist in the Disney classic The Lion King is named Scar. What people fail to see is that scars are a sign of healing, both figuratively and literally. It’s pretty impressive that a body can go through a traumatic incident, and then pick itself up and actually fix itself. People do so much bashing on scars, when in reality, they should be praising them.

I consider myself to be a micro-expert on scars. Ever since I was three months old, I have had a scar that stretches from the bottom of my left nostril down to the top of my upper lip. The reason for this scar is cleft lip, a facial congenital deformity. It occurs when the two plates that form one’s face fail to fuse together in utero, and is easily fixed with a forty-five minute surgery. Even though I was too young to remember the effects that cleft lip had on me, I’ve always lived with my scar. It’s been incorporated into my sense of self, and has become something of an emblem for my identity. I take pride in knowing that there are a lot of people out there with similar eyes, noses, or lips, but I’m the only person on the planet that boasts a scar like mine. Also, my scar ties me to such an amazing cause. For the past few years, I’ve been volunteering for Operation Smile, which gives surgeries to children with cleft lip/palate who cannot afford it themselves. (You really should check them out–they are real superheroes. I’ve been volunteering for them for a while now, and I can’t name a charity more devoted to their cause.) Sure, I’ve gotten a lot of shit for my scar. It has been teased and pointed out, and the less sensitive of us never have passed up the chance to ask what it’s about. Nonetheless, I’ve always felt connected to it in a metaphorical sense.

So, you can understand my shock when, at a winter formal, a friend of mine started to dab concealer onto it “to cover up that nasty scar”. I was at her house, doing pre-formal makeup in a buzz of excitement and apprehension. The dresses were ready, the date was set, all that was left was for this finishing touch. But she failed to understand how the last thing that I’d want is for the scar to vanish entirely. For something that had become so integral to my very sense of being, to become absent, would be unthinkable. So with a nod of understanding, the concealer came off, allowing my scar to show once more.

So, this goes out to anybody who has a scar out there: You rock. Don’t ever be ashamed of it, for I hope that it can come to represent you the way that mine represents me.

Playlist of the Month for August

Hello all! I have returned from the land down under. For those who were wondering, the trip was absolutely amazing, the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. So allow me to embed a bit of Australian music into this playlist!

  1. Royals – Lorde
  2. Let Me Down Easy – Sheppard
  3. Riptide – Vance Joy
  4. Yellow – Coldplay
  5. All Apologies – Nirvana
  6. Wish You Were Here – Pink Floyd
  7. Where Did You Sleep Last Night (Cover) – Nirvana
  8. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
  9. Born to Die – Lana Del Rey

I’m actually pretty proud of this playlist, I feel that it’s pretty good! So here’s the rundown:

Numbers 1 through 3 are some of the most mainstream songs in Australia right now, that you’re definitely going to hear as soon as you turn on any Australian radio. Number one is on the list because it has such a clean, effortlessly cool vibe to it, in addition to me having a massive girl crush on Lorde. Like seriously, just look at her hair. Don’t even try to tell me that you don’t want to be her after seeing those luscious locks. Even though I think that Lorde is from New Zealand, I’m grouping Royals into the Australian category because of it’s popularity down under.


Number two is on the POM because of how nice of a summery vibe it gives off. Number three is my favorite of the Australian songs, because of the cleverness of the lyrics and the sound of Joy’s voice. Number 4 actually ranks among my favorite songs of all time. Personally, I think that I’d like it a bit more if the sound was a bit softer and more acoustic, but nonetheless, I get stuck listening to it at least 4 times every time it comes on my iPod. I recently heard number 5, and it has instantly earned a spot on my favorite songs of all time. Same goes for number 6 and 7. Hands down, the best part about number 7 is the very last verse, which Cobain poured so much passion into singing. Personally, I think that it would be impossible to underrate number 8, which never fails to give me chills. Buckley’s version of the classic is my favorite because of how clean the guitar sounds, with little in the background. And I had to put some Lana Del Rey onto the POM somewhere, which brings me to number 9. It’s not as well known as some of her other songs, such as Blue Jeans and Video Games, but still a strong song in its own right.

Tell me what you think, and give me song suggestions!

Traveling 9469.4 Miles Away

Hello all,

I’m really, really sorry that I haven’t been blogging much lately. I kind of feel like one of those awful owners who neglect their pets, although in this case, I’m the awful owner and the pets are my poor, attention-starved blog. It’s just that with summer vacation, I haven’t really had anything to blog about. (My summer so far has consisted primarily of Friends reruns.) Plus, I’ve been fortunate enough to go on a few trips with my family, which doesn’t leave mych time for WordPress-ing. That brings me to my next point of discussion.

In two days, I’ll be embarking on the most dangerous and exotic thing I’ve ever done. I’m going to be flying 9469.4 miles, from my home to Brisbane, Australia, with two other girls on an exchange trip. Needless to say, right now I’ve got a flurry of emotions ranging from excitement to nervousness. Nonetheless, I’m probably not going to have much blogging time there, either. Even though there will probably be hundreds of juicy, cultural blog opportunities, it saddens me that I’m not going to blog them. But whatever, I’ll be in Australia. Who cares, right? Instead of blogging, I’ll probably be petting a koala or something. (That is what Australians do, right?)

So, all in all, wish me luck on this incredible journey, and I will return to blogging in a month.

Goodbye, mates!

Teenage Rebellion at a Catholic School

My entire life, I’ve basically been the most run-of-the-mill, predictable, average student you can think of. I’m talking mostly A’s with the occasional B+, growing up with an upper middle class family in the suburbs, and attending small Catholic Schools. In stark contrast, that brings me to today’s topic: Teenage Rebellion. Popularized in movies, it seems like a natural and necessary part of any coming of age. Get a tattoo. Pierce something. Sneak out and go to a party. Drink a ton. Whatever floats your boat. (By the way, leave whatever crazy things you did as a teenager in the comments section, I’d love to hear!)

But my dilemma is, what do I do if there isn’t any rebelliousness to be found? What do I do if all of my friends, and literally everyone I know, is exactly as run of the mill and resistant to change as I am? Yes, it sounds like an exaggeration when I say that everyone that I know is as typical and straightforward as me, but it isn’t that hard to believe when you take into account that my grade is comprised of eighty girls.

The way I’m going right now, my teenage era is going to look great for my resumé when applying to college down the road. Without any bumps in the road or hiccups that usually come with teenage rebellion, I’m probably going to get great grades, and get into a great college. Sure, that looks great on a resumé, but what’s going to look great when I’m telling my kids about all the crazy stuff I did? What’s going to look great when I’m reminiscing on these free spirited, simpler days? Nobody ever looks back on their teenage years and says, “Wow, those were some crazy days. I had a 3.8 GPA, was the leader of 4 clubs, and never stepped out of line. Good times.” I’m worried that I’m wasting a time where I can actually do this stuff. There’s no such thing as a middle-aged rebellion. Those people are usually pegged as the crazy ones.

All in all, I’m worried that I’m wasting my teenage years by doing exactly what is expected of me. What do you think? What were your teenage years comprised of?

Playlist of the Month for June

Sorry, I know that I’m 4 days late for this, but I forgot to include my POM! (Playlist of the month!) I want to make a regular habit of posting this every 1st of the month. I know that some of these are really, REALLY old, (I mean, old for a 15.5 year old) and they span multiple genres, but bear with me. So here is JulesTeps’s POM for June:

  1. Dani California – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  2. She Moves in her Own Way – The Kooks
  3. Clouds – Zach Soibeck
  4. National Anthem – Lana Del Rey
  5. In Bloom – Nirvana
  6. Radioactive – Imagine Dragons
  7. Lithium – Nirvana
  8. Junk of the Heart (Happy) – The Kooks
  9. Do What You Want – Ok Go
  10. Naïve – The Kooks

There you have it! The most frequented bands on my iPod right now are Nirvana and the Kooks, so they are represented like that on the playlist. Happy June!

Slut-Shaming is dumb.


(Click on the picture! It moves!)

This post is so unlike me. I mean, so, so unlike me. Normally I find overt feminists a little irritating. (Keep in mind, this is coming from someone who attends an all-girls school, with 2 sisters and no brothers.) Burning your bra, not wearing makeup, and calling yourself “womyn” isn’t going to fix the gender gap. In my opinion, you can be a feminine girl, a masculine girl, or whatever, it doesn’t matter, and it’s up to you. But if I wear a bra or become a housewife (side note: my mother is a stay-at home mom and one of the most successful people I know. Stay-at-home moms RULE.) I’m not undoing years of social reform. Geez.

But that’s not the point of this post. While browsing the likes of Instagram, I came across this picture:


Seriously? Seriously. Seriously?! Seriously^3?

Okay, maybe I’m not the first blogger to critique the offensiveness and overall stupidity of this photo, but just look at that second photo. Just look at it. I can feel myself losing brain cells as I look at it.

But what I wanted to say was, my boobs can go absolutely anywhere I want. They’re my boobs, after all. And who are you to judge me for that, random Instagram girl? I mean, I can’t necessarily blame a guy if he takes a gander at my breasts if I’m wearing a low-cut shirt, but let’s be real. If I were to see a fine young fella with an attractive 6-pack shirtless, I’d take a nice long gander too. Now that is gender equality. And if you don’t want people to look at your boobs, by all means, cover them up! I’m not criticizing covering your boobs up! But don’t judge girls just because they don’t. I mean, as long as nobody’s making unwelcome advances or harassment, or wearing anything indecent in an innapropriate situation, we’re all good. Leave the caretaking of my boobs to me.

Which brings me to my second offender:

Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 3.53.45 PM

Let’s recap. I’m a virgin who has never even been with a guy. And yet, this photo makes my blood boil. It’s not up to you to discuss a girl’s sex life. It’s as private if she wants it to be. If she wants to have sex all the time, that’s great. If she wants to remain abstinent, that’s great too. If she enjoys sex, good on her. If she thinks that the entire experience of sex is the devil’s work, that’s super-duper. The point is, her views on sex or sexual experience are not up for discussion, ridicule, or judgement. These things do not make her more or less valuable as a human being, and have no effect on aspects of her life that don’t concern her sex life. Geez, these aren’t the 1800s. Girls don’t need to remain abstinent forever, but they can if they want to. But either way, just MYOB: Mind Your Own Beeswax, and leave it up to her.

Early-Life Crisis

Hello all,

Today I will be blogging about the common and cliché’d topic known as the teenage years (cue dramatic music). Personally, I think that the teenage years are an over-dramatized, over-emphasized group of years that are made to seem like the most difficult and penultimate years of an individual’s life. In reality, the most common and taxing situations that most “teens” face are their SATs and whether their crush likes them back or not, neither of which should cause the turmoil and stress depicted in Hollywood dramatizations of the teenage years. Adults usually reminisce on their teenage years as either the best or the worst times of their life, both of which I think are totally unfit to label an insignificant, nonessential time period with.

But recently, much to my dismay, I have experienced many of the challenges associated with teenagers, aside from the usual SAT prep or crush. Each generation has a phase in their teenage years where they’re faced with their Early Life Crisis. Just for your information, I, JulesTeps, am officially coining the phrase “Early Life Crisis” right now. I’m having a real struggle with whatever I identify with, especially with the broad range in movements nowadays. Plus, my interests are so sparse an spread out, and many of them disconnect with my personality. So, the common question arises once again; “What am I?” Am I hipster, preppy, athletic, etc? I mean, I pin a lot of preppy clothing on Pinterest, so I could be that. But then again, I play volleyball competitively, so as far as I’m concerned, I could be one of those athletic types. But I do own some Urban Outfitters clothing and I’ve read The Perks of Being a Wallflower, so maybe I fit in with the hipster subculture. Then again, I like listening to “Smells like Teenage Spirit” and wearing oversized, comfy flannels paired with my overused gray Chuck Taylors, so as far as I’m concerned, I’m grunge. Ahh! What to do! (By the way, I’m totally aware of how entirely cliché’d this sounds and how it’s inaccurate to group people into common categories, but hey, it’s my Early Life Crisis.)

So this issue stems from what I believe is a common concern, especially amongst teenagers. People want to identify with a group and create a stylistic image for themselves based upon that, while simultaneously maintaining their own identity and uniqueness. And trust me, I’ve got the latter part down. I’m really, really different, not like those dime-a-dozen type teenage girls who all wear the same Hollister tank top and flat-ironed hair. I guess what my issue is is identifying with a group, because my interests are so sparse.

But that’s the part I need to let go of. I guess what my revelation is, you don’t need to devote your entire image following one group or trend, or make friends solely within that movement. So, if you’re like me, wearing your grunge-ey flannel, playing volleyball, pinning preppy clothes on Pinterest, and listening to Carly Rae Jepsen, keep on doing that. Keep doing you. Do whatever you like without worries about “fitting in” or “following a trend”, because if you immerse yourself in a wide range of activities that you enjoy, you’ll end up with your own, unique identity that suits you and only you. And stylistic-wise, I think that that’s the more important. Yes, this post was a bit long-winded, and I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life (believe me, I’ve got to get my own life together before I can do that), but this is the philosophy that has worked for me.

Enjoy your early-life crisis!

First Post

If you’re following this blog, God bless you. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

I’d say that I start a new blog about every other month (whether it be on Tumblr, BlogSpot, or your good ol’ WordPress), and I can proudly say that I have never kept up on any of them. I’ve only kept up with my Twitter feed, probably because it requires 140 characters and not long, well thought out paragraphs.

I don’t know why I made this blog. Maybe it’s because sometimes ideas or essays pop into my head, and I need somewhere to spew them. Maybe it’s because all the “cool” people have super elaborate blogs complete with links to their Instagram profile, displaying a thousand sepia-toned square photos of all the amazing trips they’ve taken. But the reason I made this blog is probably because I just really, really like to make new accounts. Seriously.

Part of me loves having a piece of my soul on the world wide web, completely open for anyone who would care to join. The other part of me hates it. It’s unfathomable that anyone I know personally should ever find this, because by putting my thoughts out here, I’m essentially displaying my most vulnerable inner beliefs, leaving them naked and prone to attack.

All in all, READ MY BLOG SO I’M NOT POSTING TO AN EMPTY AUDIENCE! But anyways, best of luck.